Regulation of online gambling in Norway

A summary by Rolf Francis

Current status

At present all forms of interactive gaming via electronic channels are prohibited in Norway. However the state controlled monopolies Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto may allow for players to participate in their terrestrial gaming activities via the internet.

Prohibition/criminalisation of payment transfers from Norway to overseas gaming sites

In December 2008 the Norwegian Parliament enacted the bill proposal from the Norwegian Government regarding a prohibition on processing of payments from Norway to non-licensed remote gambling sites. The activity encompassed by the bill is the processing of payments to remote gambling sites without a Norwegian license, classified as an unlawful accessory involvement in the holding and mediation of non-licensed gaming.

The prohibition is anchored in Gaming Law and not Financial Law. Entities comprised by the bill are Norwegian credit card companies, financial institutions and other entities assisting the transfer of payments for remote gambling from gamblers in Norway.

The legislative aims are to create an obstacle for remote gambling from Norway, strengthen national supervision of the domestic gaming market, limit evasion of Norwegian gaming law as interactive gaming, casinos and poker are prohibited in Norway.

The bill is reasoned upon Norway being an attractive market for the remote gaming industry as a high proportion of Norwegians have access to the internet, entailing a significant increase in remote gambling from Norway. There are also indications of growing social problems and concerns that remote gambling represents a serious risk to public health.

A proposal containing more detailed regulations regarding the prohibition was sent for public consultation and notification in April 2009. This period has now expired and it is expected that both the bill and the regulations will come into force during the course of autumn this year.

Source: TIME LAW NEWS 4/2009 ( Hambach & Hambach Law Firm / Kommunikation und Recht